Heights Graduation Celebration Honored 500+ Students 

$3M Commitment! Heights Philadelphia Awarded Significant Growth Grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to Help 5,000 Students Reach College and Careers

Heights Philadelphia students at alumni event

Support will expand education non-profit’s reach and aid in high-quality education services to break the cycle of generational poverty

Heights Philadelphia (Heights) today celebrated The Pew Charitable Trusts’ (Pew) $3M commitment to helping Philadelphia students reach college and career goals through a growth grant over five years. The growth grants, which are awarded by the Pew Fund for Health and Human Services, aim to significantly expand Philadelphia-area organizations’ capacity to provide high-quality, research-informed services for individuals facing complex challenges rooted in poverty. Heights connects Black, Brown, and first-generation Philadelphia youth with advising, enrichment opportunities, and the support needed to graduate high school and achieve postsecondary success. From middle school onward, students have access to academic, workforce, and college support that breaks down barriers to propel economic mobility. Working with the School District of Philadelphia, businesses, and universities, Heights empowers students to transform the future of Philadelphia.

Pew’s $3M unrestricted grant will allow Heights to scale and put the structures and foundation in place to grow its capacity from serving 3,000 students to serving more than 5,000 students in the Philadelphia community. This will include launching an evaluation of the program model and actualizing a learning culture within the organization, identifying new or expanded revenue streams and partnerships, and a continuation of implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion plans across the organization. “Our students need to see that their college or career goals are not only possible – but that they are an attainable reality, and we are working to get them there,” said Sara L. Woods, Esq., co-president, Heights. “We are so grateful to Pew for their commitment to our students. It’s with their help that we will continue to put students at the center, lift their voice, and expand our reach
to serve more students.”

“The generosity from Pew is not just a gift. It’s an investment in our city’s future and tells our children that they are worthy,” said Sean E. Vereen, Ed.D., co-president, Heights. “Philadelphia has been long plagued by a cycle of generational poverty and we have the opportunity to make a change by focusing right here on our students. We can’t do this work alone. It’s with organizations
like Pew that help us make a difference and create pathways towards student success.”

Kristin Romens, project director of the Pew Fund for Health and Human Services said, “Heights Philadelphia helps students succeed in high school, college, and their careers. By increasing its reach and continuously improving its effectiveness, the organization will ensure that thousands of young people have access to opportunities, while positively impacting Philadelphia in the future. Pew is thrilled to support this important organization.”

Pew joins a growing network of businesses and philanthropic organizations supporting Heights’ bold vision that “all Philadelphia students graduate high school and achieve economic mobility through college and workforce success.” Over the past year, Heights has received significant philanthropic gifts and support from organizations, including:● Comcast NBCUniversal
● Hamilton Family Charitable Trust
● Hess Foundation
● Hirtle, Callaghan & Co.
● Lenfest Foundation
● Neubauer Family Foundation
● William Penn Foundation

These gifts have helped to significantly scale services, support, and impact for Philadelphia students working with Heights to reach their dream career paths and college endeavors.